EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator Days Deal Possible by November

EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator Days Deal Possible by November

"I think that if we are realistic we are able to reach an agreement on the first stage of the negotiation, which is the Brexit treaty, within 6 or 8 weeks", he said in a speech at an global conference in Bled, Slovenia.

European Union Chief Negotiator in charge of Brexit negotiations, Michel Barnier (R) talks with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney during a General affairs council debate on the article 50 concerning Brexit at the EU headquarters in Brussels on 27 February 2018.

Earlier in the day, the data released by the National Statistics revealed that the United Kingdom economy expanded by 0.3% in July to surpass the market expectation of 0.2%.

The pound also rose to a one-month high against the euro at 88.96 pence EURGBP=D3 while versus the Swiss franc GBPCHF=D3 it was headed for its biggest one-day rise in more than 18 months. On a negative note, both the industrial and manufacturing production figures fell short of the market consensus while the trade balance shrunk by more than forecasted.

But Baker claimed he was not advocating a change in leadership and said Tory critics of Chequers "do not want to be in a position of conflict with our own prime minister" and would give her "absolutely every support" in forging a free trade deal.

Data earlier on Monday showed British gross domestic product in the three months to July was 0.6 percent higher than in the previous three-month period, at the top end of forecasts.

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Last week Barnier told British MPs that a deal on the terms of Britain's divorce from the bloc was 80 percent agreed.

Theresa May has been warned by a former Brexit minister that she risks a "catastrophic split" in Conservative ranks unless she abandons her Chequers plans.

"Any scope for a deal to be achieved, particularly coming from one of the chief negotiators, is a bullish signal", said Craig Erlam, market analyst at OANDA.

Mr Baker's intervention came amid continuing anger over Boris Johnson's claim that the Chequers plan, which would see Britain maintain a "common rule book" with the European Union for trade in goods and agriculture, was tantamount to wrapping a "suicide vest" around the British constitution.

But he said that, with Labour indicating it will vote against May's Brexit white paper package, it would be "fanciful" to expect her to secure parliamentary approval for Chequers.

"Westminster is going to be a cloud over sterling before the Tory conference", ING's Patel said, referring to May's party gathering starting on Sept 30.

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